How does TapeAlert work?

This post was written by admin on January 15, 2009
Posted Under: Using TapeAlert and Related Diagnostics

TapeAlert compatible tape drives – such as the DELL PowerVault 110T SDLT drive – are delivered with TapeAlert features as standard. The internal TapeAlert firmware constantly monitors the drive hardware and the media, checking for errors and potential difficulties. Any problems identified are flagged on a new SCSI log page, where 64 bytes have been reserved for use by TapeAlert.

After a backup has been completed, the TapeAlert-compatible backup application automatically reads the drive’s TapeAlert SCSI log page to check for any problems. If an error is flagged, the backup software displays a clear warning message on the user’s monitor screen, and adds the TapeAlert messages to its logs. These messages are standard across all applications that support TapeAlert, and are designed to give clear explanation of the problem and suggested resolution. For example, a user attempting to backup onto a worn-out tape would encounter the message:

WARNING: The tape cartridge has reached the end of its useful life:

1. Copy the data you need to another tape
2. Discard the old tape

The full article can be found at: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/storage/pv110t/ug/diag.htm

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